Are custom Xbox controllers from Xbox Design Lab worth the cost?

Xbox Design Lab
Xbox Design Lab (Image credit: Windows Central)

Are custom Xbox controllers from Xbox Design Lab worth the cost?

Best answer: If you're a hardcore Xbox player or love owning luxury controllers, then the Xbox Design Lab controllers are absolutely worth it. If not, however, you should stick to the standard controllers.Microsoft: Xbox Design Lab controller (from $70)

Why make your own controller?

The Xbox Design Lab gives you the ability to add tons of personal flair to a controller, but why would you want to do it? There are a few good reasons. One of them is personality; if you want your controller to reflect things about you, such as your favorite colors or favorite quote, then the Xbox Design Lab offers you a way to create a controller that does just that.

It's not just aesthetics though; the Design Lab also has some options that can affect how the controller operates while gaming. Things like metallic bumpers, a metallic D-pad, and rubberized grips on the back of the controller can improve textile feedback with inputs or help you hold your controller better. These options significantly increase the price of your custom controller, though.

Where do you stand?

Ultimately, an Xbox Design Lab controller is only worth the increased price if you're going to get increased enjoyment out of what you're paying for. A $103 Xbox controller will probably be a fantastic investment for a hardcore player that lives and breathes Xbox and loves things like metallic bumpers and detailed camo designs, but a more casual player would likely consider that controller a waste of money. Instead, they would probably want a simple design that has their favorite colors, which costs $70, only $10 up from the standard Xbox One controller price.

People who only turn on their Xbox once in a blue moon should most likely avoid paying for any Design Lab controller simply because of how rarely they'll use it. There's no point in buying a customized, more expensive controller if it's going to sit on an entertainment center for months, unused and neglected.

Final thoughts on Xbox Design Lab controllers

Xbox controller

Xbox controller (Image credit: Windows Central)

Overall, I think an Xbox Design Lab controller with basic color customization is worth it if you play a couple of times a week, while extensively personalized controllers that cost over $100 are only worth buying if you game all day, every day. People who barely play on their Xbox One at all should avoid the Design Lab entirely, as they won't gain any value from a customized controller.

At the end of the day, the only person that can decide what is and isn't worth your money is you. Despite this, I think it would be foolish to waste your money on luxury controllers if you don't play frequently. If you do, though, then Xbox Design Lab controllers are a fantastic way to add a personal touch to your gaming gear.

Brendan Lowry

Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.